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Exeter University: 'Hundreds' breach social distancing at cinema event

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image copyrightUniversity of Exeter
image captionThe university has apologised and cancelled the event on Monday

A university has cancelled the third evening of a cinema event after students were seen crowding together, breaching social distancing guidelines.

A "huge crowd" watched an outdoor screening of Mamma Mia organised by the University of Exeter on Saturday, students told The Exeter Tab.

The university said the Sunday outdoor cinema night "worked well" after changes were implemented.

However, in light of what happened it cancelled Monday's event.

Only groups of six are allowed to meet under the latest government guidance.

'Flocked there'

Student Michael Rudling, 20, said photographs had been shared by students who had been disappointed at the handling of the event.

"People flocked there. I haven't got exact numbers - it will be in the hundreds and a lot of them aren't social distancing," he said.

"I think the university has to take quite a lot of blame for this because they know how many freshers there are and how popular freshers' events can be.

"If you say people can turn up it is hard to control numbers."

image copyrightUniversity of Exeter
image captionThe University of Exeter said Sunday's event "worked well" and apologised for those breaking rules on Saturday

A University of Exeter spokesman said on Monday: "Unfortunately, some of our students did not socially distance as required at an outdoor cinema event on Saturday night and although the Sunday outdoor cinema night event worked well after we made some changes, we have decided to cancel this evening's film showing".

"We apologise to any students who were following the Covid-19 rules and anyone who was concerned by the lack of social distancing."

"We are trying to find the right balance between supporting student activities and the government guidance on Covid-19 but we will always prioritise the safety of our community," the spokesman added.

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